Leadership Blog

News from the Caucus

November 20, 2023
Lynda Wilson

NEWS: Year’s final revenue forecast should end talk of new taxes

OLYMPIA… Sen. Lynda Wilson is viewing 2023’s final quarterly forecast of state-government revenue as yet another reason to take a firm line against tax increases in 2024. “There’s no budget deficit on the horizon. It was confirmed today that government has more than enough revenue to maintain services and programs. Put those together and there...
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November 04, 2023
John Braun

Braun: Drug contraband, obstruction of justice at Green Hill School warrants thorough investigation

CENTRALIA…Upon learning that 114 bags of contraband were discovered at Green Hill School, and that it was necessary for law enforcement to issue a search warrant because school officials refused to turn the items over, Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, shared the following comments. “I strongly support the call for an investigation of Green...
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October 24, 2023
John Braun

Broken Inslee promise stalls behavioral-health treatment facility

CENTRALIA… Efforts to build a behavioral-health treatment facility in Lewis County are being pushed back another six months by what Lewis County lawmakers say is another broken promise from Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration. Sen. John Braun and Rep. Peter Abbarno, both R-Centralia, are particularly frustrated because the governor’s office assured them an important cost-saving change...
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May 16, 2023
Senate Republican Caucus

Legislature passes ‘workable’ drug-possession compromise

OLYMPIA…The Washington State Legislature passed a compromise bill on the possession of hard drugs such as fentanyl today during a one-day special session. Senate Republican Leader John Braun and House Republican Leader Drew Stokesbary provided the following comments in response: “This bill isn’t perfect, but it is a strong step in the right direction and...
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May 02, 2023
Senate Republican Caucus

STATEMENT: Republican leader cautious about drug-law ‘special’ session

CENTRALIA… State lawmakers have been called into a special session to continue work toward a new state law on the possession of controlled substances, after failing to come to an agreement before the regular legislative session ended April 23. Senate Republican Leader John Braun offered this comment following Gov. Jay Inslee’s proclamation that the Legislature...
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April 12, 2023
Lynda Wilson

STATEMENT: Republican leaders call foul on Democrats’ late-session bid to raise property taxes

OLYMPIA… In what amounts to the ninth inning of the 2023 legislative session, more than two-thirds of the state Senate’s majority Democrats have slid an extreme tax-increase proposal into the lineup of bills still in play. Senate Bill 5770 would raise the limit on increases in state and local property taxes to 3% per year,...
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March 22, 2023
Mike Padden

Legislature passes Padden bill raising penalty for custodial sexual misconduct

A bipartisan bill that aims to impose longer sentences on sexually abusive jail and prison guards is headed to the governor after being unanimously passed today by the House of Representatives. Senate Bill 5033 would reclassify the crime of first-degree custodial sexual misconduct (in which the corrections officer has sexual intercourse with the victim) from...
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March 08, 2023
John Braun

STATEMENT: Police-pursuit bill narrowly passed by Senate today is ‘half step’ in the right direction, says Republican leader

OLYMPIA… Senate Republican Leader John Braun today offered this statement following the Senate’s narrow passage of legislation that would let law-enforcement officers engage in vehicular pursuits in more situations than Washington law has allowed since 2021. Senate Bill 5352 was passed with a 26-23 vote on the final day of this session for the Senate...
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February 06, 2023
Mike Padden

Padden bill to increase penalty for drug possession receives committee hearing

The Senate Law and Justice Committee held a public hearing today on a bill introduced by 4th District Sen. Mike Padden that aims to reverse the alarming trend in fentanyl use and fentanyl-related deaths in Washington. Padden’s measure, Senate Bill 5035, would make possession or use of illegal drugs like fentanyl, methamphetamine and heroin a...
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January 05, 2022
Mike Padden

Republican legislators prioritize policing, public safety, and corrections in ‘Safe Washington’ Plan

Washington state House and Senate Republicans today unveiled their common-sense solutions to the public safety crisis ravaging communities and destroying lives across the state. “During the last legislative session, the majority dropped the ball on public safety,” said Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, ranking member of the Senate Law and Justice Committee. “Democrats removed critical...
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January 15, 2020
Mike Padden

Senate Republicans offer comprehensive Corrections reforms, would increase safety and accountability

Forward-looking approach aims to head off problems before they occur Ongoing problems at the scandal-plagued state Department of Corrections are prompting a trio of Senate Republicans to introduce a package of sweeping reforms to address what they call a costly and fatal record of mismanagement. Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, said recent inmate deaths due...
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July 29, 2019
Mike Padden

Inmate-health scandal at Corrections more evidence of Inslee leadership failure, say GOP senators

Padden will propose expanded package of reforms in 2020 session As yet another major scandal rocks the state Department of Corrections, Senate Republicans who have been urging sweeping reforms for the agency since 2016 say enough is enough, and it’s far past time that Gov. Jay Inslee show some leadership and address the mismanagement of...
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